Name: Parker Space
Office you are running for: Assembly
Political affiliation: Republican
Hometown (Municipality where you reside in Sussex County): Wantage
How long have you resided in Sussex County? If you are not a lifetime resident here please share where you lived previously: I have lived and worked in Wantage my entire life.
Tell me whatever you’d like to about yourself and your family: I have been married for 22 years to my wife, Jill. We have three children, Hunter, 20; Lindsey, 19; Kelsey, 16.
What business/career path have you worked in? Owner of Space Farms Zoo and Museum; farmer; owner of Extreme Pizza of Wantage; New Jersey State Assemblyman.
What activities have you been involved in within the community? I have been a Wantage Township volunteer firefighter for 26 years and served as chief.
Is this your first time running for political office? If not, please list previous offices held and time periods:
I have served as a State Assemblyman since 2013, being elected to replace now-County Surrogate Gary Chiusano. I serve on the Assembly Labor Committee and Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. I served as a freeholder beginning in 2010 until I became an assemblyman. I was an elected Wantage Township committeeman from 2004 to 2010 and served three years as mayor.
Have you been involved with any local committees/boards/organizations? If so please name them and your position(s) held:
I also serve as the Republican state committeeman for Sussex County and a Sussex County Republican committeeman. Both are elected but volunteer positions.
What are the top three political issues that you are most passionate about and why?
The No. 1 issue we face in New Jersey is high property taxes. I am a sponsor of the Fair School Funding Formula Constitutional Amendment, which will lower the biggest part of our property tax bill, which is money to fund local education.
It is a simple constitutional amendment. State revenues already constitutionally dedicated to the Property Tax Relief Fund are divided by the number of students and that is the per-pupil state aid figure that goes to each school district.
No more special funding for urban districts at the expense of Sussex, Warren, and Morris counties. And because it amends the state Constitution, it removes interference from the liberal State Supreme Court.
Assembly Republicans have introduced 78 bills that address property taxes and Trenton Democrats refuse to post them. It is why I also sponsor legislation calling for a special session of the Legislature for property tax relief and reform. My running mate, Gail Phoebus, and I make combating high property taxes our top priority — going after inequitable school funding, housing mandates, unfunded state mandates, urban tax abatement abuses and unfair municipal aid based on politics, not need.
We need fewer regulations on businesses in order to keep them here or trying to entice others to move to New Jersey. Our state is too over-regulated. I have proposed legislation to fast track permits; remove barriers to economic growth in the Highlands; to prohibit new regulations on manufacturing facilities for 10 years; and to permanently prohibit Council on Affordable Housing fees on businesses.
Everyone has heard the phrase “illegal means illegal.” I support E-Verify, which would keep illegal workers from taking jobs from legal residents in the state. I oppose college financial aid for illegals. I have also authored a tough voter ID bill to prevent voter fraud.
What do you think should happen overall to make life more comfortable for current residents to live in Sussex County (and if for assembly candidates, Leg Dist 24), and to retain our resident base?
Transportation like the Lackawanna Cutoff would make commuting easier. Also we need to get rid of the Millionaires tax and inheritance tax.
If elected, what would be the first order of business you would like to tackle?
Is there anything more you’d like to share, in conclusion as a candidate not already asked above?
I am the third generation to run our family business that has been around since 1927. I am a member of the New Jersey Farm Bureau and the National Federation of Independent Business.
I am only one of three Republicans in the entire legislature to receive a grade of A or A- by the New Jersey State Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for my support of veterans. Gail Phoebus and I are endorsed by the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (NJ PBA), the New Jersey State Fraternal Order of Police (NJ FOP), the New Jersey Organization for a Better State (NEW JOBS PAC), National Federation of Independent Business Save America’s Free Enterprise Trust (NFIB-SAFE Trust), New Jersey Right to Life State PAC, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA), the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs PAC, the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, and the Probation Association of New Jersey (PANJ).
I love to hunt, ride my motorcycle, and spend time with my wife and kids.